Friday, October 24, 2014

Vanzant's go to Gatlingburg- Part 1

Me and Matt love the Smoky Mountains! We have been going together for a long time and I have been almost every year before meeting him. My family always went during the Thanksgiving holiday when I was younger and it was just a place I really, really loved. It turned out Matt went once to two times a year with his family when he was younger too! When we started dating he took me as a surprise trip for my 17th birthday. We started going every year together after that until we had started trying for babies. When we had our babies (and then another) we knew it would be a little while until we could take them up there. We waited until they were all a little older so it wouldn't be as difficult. We were so excited about going. To take our babies to our place. To let them see this beautiful city and explore all the things to do. Me and Matt would much rather go north than we would south. Don't get me wrong, we love a beach trip but we really enjoy the Smoky Mountains a little better.

This was our first real family trip. I know you've seen us go to the beach several times but that's because my parents lived there. My mom had everything. Toys, beds, food, sippy cups and more. I never had to bring anything with me. This time? We brought everything. And we don't have a huge luggage bag (which I really need to invest in) so I packed everyone in a smaller suitcase. This isn't even everything. We also brought a pac-n-play, bed safety rails for the twins, and a stroller. Plus there's three more bags up under that huge blanket.  

The twins decided not to nap that day so it wasn't long after we left they decided to fall asleep in the truck. I have also figured out that it is physically impossible to take a picture of all 5 of us. Maybe I could if we had a longer vehicle and a third row but seeing is how our cars are paid off, I am good for now. 

We got there really late and went to bed even later. I was worried about them not sleeping but they all did so great. We all woke up rested and ready to take the day on Thursday! We went to Cades Cove after a yummy breakfast! If you've never been to Cades Cove before you should go! Its in the National Park of Gatlinburg and its miles and miles of road that you drive along. Sounds boring? Well, you do see lots of deer, horses, and even an occasional bear! We didn't see a bear this time. I was sad because that's all I want. I just want to see a freaking bear!! I know I might sounds crazy but they are so cool to me. I would like to see one in the wild (while sitting in my truck/car).The kids were so excepted about seeing the "DEERS and BEARS"!

 Everyone goes 5 mph or lower in here and everyone lets their kids sit up front so they can see everything. We decided to let ours sit up front with us and they thought they won the lottery. It was so fun looking for deer, seeing deer, and talking to them. JP and Jocelynn love the song "Something Bad" by Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert and it came on while we were riding around and we all sang it. It was so much fun. I really love this age and their memory for things like that. Maddie was just glad to be doing what her older brother and sister were!

Later that evening we went to the cabin and got ready to go to dinner! We wanted to go to the Alamo but it was packed so we chose a seafood buffet and I do not recommend that place at all. It was called Captain Jim's Seafood Buffet in Pigeon Forge. It wasn't bad but for the price we paid, it wasn't worth it. It is getting so hard with all three in a restaurant. Really just because Maddie will not sit in a high chair and screams when we put her in it. I know she just wants to do what JP and Jocelynn are doing but DANG! 

How precious are my babies??

You can't really tell in this picture but me and Jocelynn have matching fringe boots! I love our boots;)

Our cabin was gorgeous!! If you're looking to stay in Gatlingburg in the future just search on VRBO and you'll find a great one! Or you can stay at the one we stayed in! Just search for "Happy Ours" in that area. It included 4 bedrooms, a sleeper sofa, and even a movie theatre!! We watched Frozen almost every single night and it was awesome. Making me rethink our playroom;)

 Cabins are so beautiful. I loved the antler chandelier and this beautiful log table in the dining room. Makes you feel like you are really in the mountains staying here!

Friday we went to an exotic petting zoo and trough fishing which I will do a different post about because I took a lot of pictures. We ordered pizza on Friday afternoon for dinner so we could all go play afterwards with no epic meltdown at a restaurant. We found some kiddie rides at a little park. I was skeptical about them riding at first. Not because I didn't want them to but I thought they wouldn't. Just back in May they screamed when I tried letting them ride stuff at the beach. This time? Completely different! My babies rode rides self!! It makes me so proud and want to cry all at the same time. They are growing so fast and they find ways to remind me of that every day.

Matt took this picture of the twins sleeping Saturday morning. They had to sleep in the same bed because there weren't any twin beds. I didn't think they would sleep but again they proved me wrong. They slept and they slept good with each other.

We went an ate a delicious breakfast that consisted of M&M pancakes, french toast, sausage, bacon, and loaded house fries at the Atrium Pancake house. This might have been the best breakfast we ate the whole trip. We didn't get time to go to a Flap Jacks (they were always so packed) or anything but this was pretty darn good! Theres a waterfall right outside this restaurant and the babies went bonkers over it!

After a short ride up the mountain we ended up at Ober Gatlinburg. They were having a festival and had a few rides out, a maze, a bouncy house and more! Guess what mine loved the most? The maze! Me and Matt thought how boring is this? But we loved it since they did and it was actuality a lot of fun. JP kept running from us and he thought it was the funniest thing, although it almost gave me a heart attack. We had to find each letter of the word MAZE. It took us 24 minutes.

After the outdoor fun we went to see the bears! Maddie had somewhat of a traumatic experience.

Yup, Maddie dropped her paci and the bears really enjoyed it. He knew right when it dropped too. It was crazy to watch him find that small item and then play with it. The other bear knew he was playing with something so he came to have a look also. They didn't eat it thank goodness but Maddie was pretty distraught about the whole situation.

She forgot about it when we went inside to see more animals. 

I didn't get a picture of it but JP actually pet this snake! I didn't think he would but he walked right up to it and say "hey snake"!

After Ober we spent a little time downtown indulging in cheese steaks and big sausage dogs! We ate our food in a small alley off of downtown because it was so crowded. I can't believe how many people were there that weekend!! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days- My Birthday!

We have been on Vacation for the past week and decided not to pick up our phones (except to take pictures) so I haven't had a chance to catch up. We got home Sunday evening and I feel like we have been running ever since and trying to catch up on everything. 

This is a catch up post from last week. 

Sometimes I look at all three of my babies and just can't believe they are mine. They are all mine and I couldn't love them more if I tried. They make my days worth living. Without them life would be a bore. There wouldn't be any chaos, craziness, happy and sad moments at the same time because we all know how toddlers are. I love my babies so much.

The twins love football this year even more so than last. I love that they love it! They yell at the TV and say "Come'on bama!" or "Roll Tide!" I dressed JP in his football jersey and Joc in her cheerleading outfit a couple weeks ago and they were thrilled;)

Last Tuesday was my birthday! I wasn't going to even bring it up because it isn't that important to me as it use to be. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE birthdays and I especially love mine but we just had so much getting ready to do before our trip that day, I didn't think we had time to celebrate. Matt knew just what I wanted... Queso.

He brought home Queso and chips from one of my favorite Mexican restaurants! Sweet man;) He also surprised me by calling my best friend to come down and he even had an ice cream cake hidden for a couple of days. I was wondering why he would act so weird when I needed something in the deep freezer. Never occurred to me there could be a cake in there!

They all sang Happy Birthday to me and it melted my mommy heart. The kids really enjoyed their piece of cake! 

Had a great time celebrating my birthday with my family! I wouldn't have it any other way! I am thinking that 27 is going to be a great year;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Halloween Candy Corn & Cookie Bark- 31 Day Challenge

YUM, right? Me and my babies made this amazing stuff this weekend. I don't have the biggest sweet tooth in the world, I prefer salty snacks. But when you mix salty and sweet, I am all over it!

  • 14 crushed/broken up oreos. 
  • 1 1/2 C pretzels broken into pieces.
  • 1 1/2 lbs white chocolate
  • 1 C Candy Corm
  • Your favorite Halloween candy (I used Reese Pieces because they are Halloween colors and YUMMY)
  • Brown and Orange colored sprinkles


Start by covering a sheet with wax paper. (I always spray the wax paper with Pam just to make sure of no sticking)

Spread broken cookies, pretzels, 3/4 candy corn and candy onto the sheet.

Heat white chocolate until smooth and melted. Remember white chocolate burns easier than milk chocolate so follow heating directions. (Almond bark is the best heating white chocolate unless you use a double boiler). 

Pour white chocolate over candy/cookie mixture. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread and get chocolate over every piece. 

Sprinkle remaining candy corn and sprinkles onto chocolate while it is still wet.

Place cookie sheet in refrigerator until it had harden.

Remove from fridge and break bark into pieces!! 

Such an easy recipe and the babies had so much fun making this with me! 10 minutes is all it takes to make a yummy fun memory;)

Friday, October 10, 2014

31 Days Challenge

I am doing about as good as I thought I would do on this challenge. Which isn't that good at all. I could possibly try a little bit harder, we have just been so busy the past few days and I feel like I haven't had anything great to give you all!

However, I did mess up a recipe yesterday that I have been wanting to share. And by mess up, I mean I burnt chocolate. Awesome, right? I will have some yummy recipes for treats coming soon.

This week has flown by. We got home from the beach Sunday and then every day after that just passed right by. Monday we cleaned and cleaned some more. Then got ready for school the next day. I always pick out all the kids outfits the nights before (including shoes) and lay them on the couch. I prepare their lunches and put their backpacks on the table so I can grab them on our way out. I put out 3 cups for the next morning to have chocolate milk in, and then I make 3 with juice in it and put the twins in their backpacks and Maddie's in my purse. Then Tuesday arrives and they are off to school!

They still cry every single time I drop them off but we are making progress. They use to cry in the parking lot before we even walked in but now they don't cry until they get into the classroom. Jocelynn doesn't really even cry anymore, she squints her eyes and acts like it. Maybe she is trying to make JP feel better about crying? I don't know. They are thriving in school. The teachers tell me, every time I pick them up, how sweet and easy they are and how I have done a great job with them. That warms my heart so much. The twins are great kids and I am so happy to share their contagious happiness with others. I am so proud of them. They are saying things and know things now that I didn't teach them so I know they are learning things from school. I think Maddie is already ready to start. When we walk the twins in to school, Maddie cries when we leave because she wants to stay! Its precious. Although, I don't think she knows she would not be in "bubba and sissys' room. That would be pretty cool.

Matt was off work on Wednesday! Guess what we did? We put up Jocelynn and JP's big boy/girl beds! These beds are precious. My mom found them a while back and decided to give them to us because they don't have room for them! I was ecstatic! I knew it needed to happen soon so we went ahead and took the baby beds down and put the big beds up. I'm not going to like, I wanted to cry. Seeing their little bodies crawl into those beds and act so happy about it reminds me how fast they're growing. I just want to wrap them up in my arms and never let go.

Maddie turned 1.5 on Wednesday!! Seriously, where does the time go? I can promise you that she just turned one. I took her to her 15 month/18 month checkup yesterday while the twins were at school and she is as big as your average 3 year old!! Weighing in at 33 lbs and 34 inches tall! She is one inch shorter than JP and weighs more than the twins. She is just a big girl. Funny thing is, She doesn't eat a whole lot but she does like to snack. Its not bad stuff. Ok, sometimes it is bad stuff but who doesn't give their babies yummy stuff every now and then? Anyways, the doctor isn't worried about her weight at all because she is so tall. He said that there will be a point where her weight will decided to stop while her height continues to grow.

Last night all the babies were in a circle standing while holding hands. JP shouts out "START YO ENGINES"! Me and Matt just looked at each other like "Did you teach him that?" Neither of us knew where he had learned that so we are going to guess school. It was the cutest thing ever! He would scream those three words and they would all run so fast while laughing hysterically.


 I wish I could show y'all what this little girls bed looks like when she goes to sleep. She has babies all around her. There has to be at least 20. She loves them. She plays with them all day long and I even hear her say "oohhh come here baby girl. Its ok" and I wanted to break down the other day when I heard "oohhhh my goodness baby girl". She is such a little momma. She will be a great mother when she grows up because she already mothers her bubba and Maddie. I love you Jocelynn for your care taking ways.

I have been thinking a lot about Christmas gifts lately! I think I know what I am going to get each of the kids and so excited about it this year! It should be so much fun with them being older and understanding more and more. Have you thought about Christmas gifts yet? I am selling some cute stuff over on my IG page. Monogrammed sweatshirts, cups and more! Come visit @Junkbyjenn

Happy Friday y'all!

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